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ARCHIVES: August 15-22, 2003
August 22, 2003 - Friday
Everyone has an opinion on this issue. Seadoc posted one on his site today that surprised me. I have heard more people around here expressing a negative viewpoint of Moore's stand than a positive one so it was interesting to read a positive view. For me, this is a tough issue. I love the 10 commandments. More people ought to follow them - the world would be a better place. If a judge has another belief, I see no problem posting his or her own personal creed somewhere. (As a lawyer, it would give me an edge into their way of thinking - advantageous in pleading my case.)
I don't like how God is being taken out of everything. Our founding fathers all believed in God. This country was founded on such a belief. I think God inspired our founding fathers to even organize this country in the first place.
Many other countries heavily push religion on all aspects of life. If you live there, you learn to put up with it. The separation of church and state has gone too far when a little elementary school can not call a Christmas Party by that name at the end of the year. On the other hand, I went to a grocery store that put up a cute witch and ghost display a couple of weeks before Halloween. The next day, they had to take it down. When I asked why, they said a local church was getting upset over it and calling it "Satanic." That was sad and ridiculous to me. C'mon folks, Halloween can be fun. I have good memories of this as a kid -- and probably too much candy, too.
Oops, back to the judge - he is breaking laws. As annoying as it is, he should be obeying the law and putting his energy into changing the law rather than being an example of disobedience.
Whew -- this is a tough issue. I have sympathy for both sides. I guess what I want is for people to obey the laws, but for the laws to loosen up a tad on these kinds of issues.
I was interviewed yesterday by Teri Greene from the Montgomery Advertiser. She asked many questions about blogging and I think she was asking them from several bloggers. She had me name of some of my favorite other bloggers. You know who you are because I am always posting comments on your sites. Who knows? Maybe we will have a lot of visitors from Montgomery soon. The article comes out next month. I am looking forward to what she says about us all.
This is a fun little program. It causes windows to pop up and close in all kinds of ways. The speed at which they come and go can be set so they do this very fast (or slow) or only work with smaller windows. The windows can fade, twist and do a bunch of different things. It's cute. I am using the 30-day free trial. The site has a video which shows some of the effects.
August 21, 2003 - Thursday
Possumblog links to a news story about a man who went in with an ear ache and came out with, surprise, a vasectomy! Maybe that ear ache was causing by screaming babies ... wonder how they treat a backache.
An old Elvis song is being released after being stored away for 39 years because it contained the words, "Stick it in his ear." What shameful strong language that is! <g>
Microsoft announced Office 2003, TechTV stated last night. "Big deal," the show hosts said, "What could they possibly offer that we don't have now?" I think Microsoft is actually taking away some abilities. In FrontPage 2000, I could be editing a page, find a hyperlink that I want to copy while in editing mode (examining the settings and looking right at the hyperlink code) and then copy it. In FrontPage 2002, that ability was REMOVED. You can still copy the hyperlink code, but it requires extra steps - opening and closing yet another window to get the copy function to work with a hyperlink or just copy all the text that goes with it. It's a minor thing, but frustrating when used often. Maybe in 2003, they put that ability back in.
It all sounds like elected officials - make a bunch of laws so voters with think you are doing something, then next year repeal a bunch of laws so voters still think you are doing something, then start it all over again. Same with Microsoft: add an ability, take it away, then add it back due to "user demand." One of the TechTV hosts recommended the free OpenOffice.org. He says it does everything he wants and it COSTS NOTHING. Amazing - we can get quality software for free, who would have thought? I can see why my husband is leaning towards Linux these days. Microsoft has gotten a little too big for their britches.
For one, Tiger Direct no longer sells boxed Linux software, probably due to deals with Microsoft. America Online decided not to pursue a Linux client after all. Yet, inspite of those efforts, the Linux user base continues to grow. The recent animated movie, Sinbad, was produced entirely with Linux. Some computers are being sold much cheaper because Linux is installed instead of Windows.
As for the police, we have one who walks the greenway the same time as we do. Sometimes he walks a dog that wears a labeled training jacket. Today he was biking in a t-shirt that said in big letters on the back, POLICE. While I haven't spoken to him, others have. They said he talked to the illegally parked fisherman two days ago. We all appreciate having him around. Even off duty, it seems like the police are working - or we always expect them to. I wonder if they ever get rest. At any rate, we are glad you are with us in the mornings.
August 20, 2003 - Wednesday
My photo blog is currently top on this site (at www.bamablog.textamerica.com) with the most entries as of this moment, aided by all the cat photos taken by my daughter.
Anyone can start a free photo site here. Cell phone cameras are not required. Photos can be e-mailed. If you have a million photos and don't know what to do with them, this is the place, TextAmerica.com.
I just hope they sell CD copies when an individual's site gets too big. Most of my photos are from the cell phone, a few of them might be worth saving, but it would nice to just get it all lumped on a CD ... wishful thinking or a lot of work since each image has a thumbnail to click on to get to the larger size.
It is a pleaure to hear from a newly-discovered cousin and a joy to get photos from them. My thanks to Eugene Hancock, a cousin on my Dad's Sharp family tree who sent photos of my 2nd and 3rd great grandparents, James Robertson Sharp (Jr. and Sr.). My Sharp line has been traced to back to Scotland. Here's James Robertson Sharp Jr., photo taken in the mid to late 1800's, with his brothers. He's my 2nd great grandfather, seated in the middle. The photo on the right is their father, James Robertson Sharp, Sr. I am not sure of the date of that photo except that it is obviously much earlier.
August 19, 2003 - Tuesday
If you are using Drempels or anything else which needs seamless backgrounds, this is a great resource: AbsoluteCross.com. They have many beautiful seamless textures that work well with Drempels. Drempels is a free animated wallpaper and/or screen saver. When I am using it as a wallpaper, it makes my icon text transparent - a nice touch for Windows 2000 (and other versions).
This morning, we saw a pickup truck illegally parked under the Hobbs Road bridge. A young man was casting a net and gathering up a ton of small fish. He didn't realize a few things. First, the greenway is a VERY busy place right at daybreak. In fact, just before daybreak there are many folks already using it.
Second, we know off-duty policemen (and others along that line) who run along the greenway first thing in the morning.
Third, several older upright-type citizens walk the greenway -- people who do not like to see the law being broken in any way. Some of these folks carry cell phones and think nothing of calling in a license number and reporting a problem. Then, there's folks like me who carry cameras around everywhere I go. The guy left when he saw a group of people gathering on both sides of him to glare.
August 18, 2003 - Monday
My sister, Deborah, sent this one which is floating around the Internet. My husband has told me that sometimes he doesn't know what to say when I ask him how I look. I have instructed him to lie if necessary, but lie convincingly.
This was recommend on "Call for Help." VersionTracker.com tracks any program for Windows, Mac and Palm. When it comes out with an update or upgrade, the update and link is listed here. It has a very big searchable database. I even found some updates to download.
On Sundays, I get to teach a class of children ranging from 1 & 1/2 to 3 years old. We had a lesson on using our hands to do good things and we drew the hands of the children so they could color them. Matthew said no to having his hand drawn, but he relented.
Matthew does not talk very often. He is good about shaking his head to answer yes or no questions, though. All day yesterday, he answered "no" to everything I was asking him, so I tried this test. I asked, "Matthew, do you want to play this game with us?" Matthew shook his head no. "Do you want to color?" Matthew shook his head no. "Do you want to have a snack?" Again, the answer was no. "Do you want a million dollars?" I asked. Matthew brightened up and shook his head in a big YES and held up a number 1 finger. I tore up laughing.
Matthew is the son and grandson of accountants. Perhaps this was a family joke with them. He was sure cute.
August 17, 2003 - Sunday
Someone left a perfectly good pair of shoes in the creek bed last night. This is the same spot where we've spotted socks, food wrappers, an entire set of clothes and various piecs of junk that people throw from the bridge overhead. (Obviously children play here, folks. Please don't throw stuff over the bridge. The creek is shallow and will NOT carry it off like you think.) When the Tennessee River backed up, we could see children swimming in the now-deep water.
C. L. pointed out a small blue heron. I had not seen the smaller blue herons for a few years (only the Great Blue Heron and a green heron have been seen). Fire ants are reappearing. I last saw the bigger mounds in the spring, so I guess spring and fall are their seasons for building. I didn't see them in July.
My husband showed me how long it took to load this page last night. I think my problem is with the enetations which come from a site in Europe. In fact, I draw too much from other sites - weather, search, some photos, domain forwarding, adoptable pets, big animated graphics and other things. I know taking too long to load is a death knell for a site. Maybe its only a problem at prime time ... will keep looking into it.
August 16, 2003 - Saturday
My daughter wanted to go and had Friday off, so we went to Parkway Place Mall. There was a time when I was a mall-a-holic, loving to shop in one. Now, I am much happier just stayng home and computing or reading. Still, it was fun to go again.
This a fairly new mall (having been remodeled several times in the past). It is also a "high class" expensive mall, even if only half the size of regular malls. The two anchor stores are Parisians and Dillards -- no Sears or Penneys here, a clue to the prices.
I brought my cell phone camera and took pictures while my daughter shopped. Well, I did buy something. Aeropostale has men's hooded sweatshirts at half price (before the season starts) and I got one to store for a couple of months.
One of my favorite stores here is Dry Ice. The store is obviously aimed at 11- and 12-year-old girls, but there are things for all ages. It's extremely colorful, blinding to anyone who walks in - much funny, gimmicky stuff to be amused by.
I enjoy being in a crowd - even more so than smaller social situations. People are endlessly interesting. It was good to walk around here again.
I thought I had written about this before but did not find it in a search. There's a free wallpaper and screen saver I use once in a while called Drempels. They bill themselves as a "psychotherapeutic screensaver and desktop enhancer." It changes all of my icon text to clear (which Windows 2000 does not do normally) and puts moving designs down as wallpaper -- fun to watch if not causing seasickness.
August 15, 2003 - Friday
Last week, a man knocked on our door saying he was from Comcast and needed to make an adjustment to our digital box. I was suspicious. First, nothing was wrong with our box. Our reception was not suffering. I did not let him in even though he pointed out his Comcast van to prove he was from the company.
A few days later, Comcast calls us and says that they want to send over a technician to fix our box. I tell them again that our box is not broken. Everything is working fine.
Yesterday, another guy from Comcast knocks on our door and says that he needs to come in and work on our box. Totally exasperated by now, I give him the 3rd degree. What it boils down to is that in mid-September, Comcast is launching an "On Demand" pay-per-view kind of service where someone can "rewind" and do other things to the movie they order. Even if we don't plan to use that service, our box has to be readjusted before they can launch the service in the entire viewing area - or so they imply.
The Comcast guy did not have an easy time of it. I have a million wires, an A/B box, splitters, boosters, surge protectors and all kinds of junk hooked into the box along with a few years' worth of dust in the back of the TV. I even have cable wires that go nowhere that I unhooked from other things and did not bother to untangle (sort of like in the back of this computer).
He was not happy, but to his credit, he did maintain a good professional attitude even when I was biting my lip trying not to laugh at the dust beard he had acquired from brushing his chin on the equipment. Really - it looked like he had a gray beard when he did not have one at all -- and it stood out on his dark skin. I snuck out my cell phone camera and took a picture. (One thing I love about this cell phone camera is that it doesn't look like one. Nobody realizes that I am taking photos.)
At various times in walking this morning, I was with Ella from Cuba, Maria from Germany, Hiroko from Japan, Lee from Korea, Wendell from New York, Thad from Alabama, Jennifer from Michican and others. We were quite a mix of race and accents. It was great! We've become a friendly group as we see each other out walking every day.